If you could go back in time and tell yourself some advice from the future what would you say? When you first start your teacher training there are lots of nerves of excitement. And also a bit overwhelming. How will I learn all of these exercises? Not to mention add in anatomy, observations, practice hours, and more. The other day I was thinking back to my biggest concerns when I was learning to become a Pilates teacher. They seemed so huge! But hindsight is always 20/20. And, if I knew then what I know now I could have saved myself a lot of stress and worry. Part of the reason I wrote “Profitable Pilates: Everything But the Exercises” was because I wanted future teachers to know at the beginning things I wish I knew. However, I recently asked my AGENCY members what they would tell their apprentice selves if they could go back in time and have an hour-long lunch with them. Here’s what they said:
Cheryl Turnquist: To uphold your schedule and have clear boundaries with clients about time and money!! (without using the terms time and money with the actual clients) More like, be comfortable with saying ‘no’!
Carrie Miller: Eyes on your own road, trust your intuition, and have more fun! You will learn as you go. It’s a process that can’t be rushed. Know that you will find your teaching style and the people that get you.
- don’t be afraid to sub just because you’re new. some people just don’t like new instructors, and that has nothing to do with you as a person. subbing/teaching allows you to grow the skills you’re currently insecure about. you’ll be surprised at how much and how quickly you improve “out in the field.”
- have snacks, stay hydrated, and pee at every break. it keeps your energy up!
- no one really remembers choreography, and they can’t always guess what’s coming next. if you “mess up” or skip something, keep going and don’t tell them. add it in after. if you do tell them, laugh it off! no one’s perfect, and you don’t need to apologize profusely.
- when in doubt, child’s pose
- uphold all boundaries with everyone (your time, money, schedule, their negativity, etc).
- KNOW AND HONOR YOUR WORTH.
- ask a peer the difference between constructive criticism and an asshole if you’re unsure. be okay with constructive criticism. it makes you a better teacher
- your teaching style will come out, and your people will find you! don’t compare yourself and or your attendance rate to another.
Rebecca Sirkel: Practice, practice, practice. The more you own your Pilates routine, the more confidence you will have as a teacher. Take as many sessions as you can afford from teachers you trust and admire. And what @Cheryl T said! So true about saying, ‘No’! This is how you build the business of your dreams. Otherwise, you will just be getting by and not fulfilling your purpose. I would suggest to myself to get help with running my business. To research different business coaches to find the right fit for me. (Agency was not around then.)
I would recommend the books we read in our book club, “Starts with Why”, “The Big Leap” and “The Four Tendencies”. So helpful!
Melissa Nagai: Charge your value. Be confident. Hold your boundaries. I’d had my own business before but stepped away from that when my kids were little. Working for someone had its place for a while but I stayed in that comfort zone for too long.
Tami B.: It’s not just okay, but mandatory to let go of toxic clients!!! Trust me, create the space and The Universe will fill it with an upgrade!
Beth Simons: Just be you and just teach pilates. Be confident… you always know more than your student. Relax, believe in yourself. You’ll be great.
Judith H.: Your business is less about the movement and more about the people. as long as you focus on that you will have a business. Also, go to LL for business strategy. cause they don’t teach that in the pilates courses. (which they should)
Eva Stabenow: Stop trying to please everyone – you can’t. No really. STOP IT NOW.
Lori Watson: I would tell myself “Lor” you got this! You know enough and you’re worthy to teach anyone who comes through the door!
I wanted to share this with you because maybe you’re starting out on your teaching journey and you’re wondering how on earth you’re going to do it all. I hope you see that you will. And that being yourself is better than trying to be perfect or be anyone else. Please share this with every new teacher and apprentice you know. Let’s alleviate the pressure on others we had unnecessarily put on ourselves.
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